The United States Marine Corps is considering purchasing a Soviet-era Antonov AN-2 cargo aircraft, which has the NATO reporting name Colt.
The U.S. Defense Department distributed on November a request for optional fixed-wing propeller-driven adversary support aircraft to delivery for Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1), located at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona.
According to the request, posted on the U.S. government’s main contracting website, Marine Corps premiere advanced aviation training school is required AN-2 Colt aircraft that is capable of using tracking pods compatible with the Tactical Air Combat Systems range.
The Soviet-era aircraft will use to provide familiarization of flight characteristics, capabilities and limitations of the foreign adversary rotary-wing and propeller-driven aircraft to MAWTS-1 instructors and prospective Weapons and Tactics instructors, the request said.
This will be accomplished by having access to two foreign adversaries contractor-provided aircraft (An-2 and also one Mi-24 HIND or Mi-17 HIP helicopter) that shall participate in the flight phases of the Weapons and Tactics Courses as part of a realistic opposing force during specified flight evolutions as required by the Commanding Officer of MAWTS-1.
It is worth mentioning that An-2 is archaic agricultural aircraft that first flew in 1947, as the Soviet Union was rebuilding after the tumult of World War II.